What is it?
You really have to admire Mazda’s determination to do things differently. Whether it’s holding out as the last maker of truly affordable sports cars, or rejecting large-capacity batteries for its debut EV with a view towards rotary range-extenders, the Japanese firm doesn’t play by everyone else’s rules. That attitude is also true of the Mazda 2 supermini.
Even after its most recent round of mid-life updates, the Mazda 2 still one of the few cars in its class to remain naturally aspirated in all its forms - albeit now with mild-hybrid assistance. The efficiency-boosting tech was introduced last year for the entry-level and mid-range powertrains. Now it’s the turn of the top-end 113bhp Mazda 2 model, which has been reintroduced for 2021.
The 1.5-litre four-cylinder has received an increased compression ratio and an upgraded exhaust manifold also helps keep emissions in check, but it’s the power hike that will enable it better to compete with turbo three-pot rivals from the likes of Ford and Seat.
It’s available on only the range-topping GT Sport Tech model tested here, which gets a full suite of interior technology and safety features as standard, including wireless smartphone mirroring, 360deg parking cameras, adaptive LED headlights and blind spot monitoring.